This week I was reading an article commemorating the first successful ascent to the top of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May, 1953. It was a story of courage, determination, perseverance and teamwork, success against the forces of nature to reach the top of the world. Hillary, who was 33 at the time described himself as “an ordinary person with ordinary qualities” yet was able to achieve this extra-ordinary feat. Sixty years on there have been numerous others that have achieved that same goal, but we must never forget those initial trail blazers.
Another small group of trail blazers achieved their goal on 29 May 1813, when Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson successfully crossed the Blue Mountains west of Sydney. I have not walked in the footsteps of Hillary but I have done many walks in the Blue Mountains that even today are challenging!
So what? There may not be many great mountains to conquer or ranges to cross but we are all on a journey! Will you accept the challenge of climbing impossible mountains, crossing impenetrable barriers and ultimately achieving your goals or just give up because it is hard? The journey through RAAF Base Wagga is for many people a struggle, requiring them to dig deep, to stretch, to grow, to endure the pain and hopefully experience the joy of success.
Edmund Hillary himself put it like this:
“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
So, if you are finding life hard going at the moment, don’t try to blame the course, the instructors or the weather, the real problem is NOT these mountains but us! If that is the problem – how are you going to fix it? The fact is Tenzing and Hillary did not really get to the summit on their own, they could only achieve that end because ALL the members of the team did their part preparing the way. If you are struggling at the moment, it is my job to remind you that there is a whole team of people ready and available to help you on your journey.
There have been times in my life when the real problem was I just couldn’t see the goal. Most of us are not trying to climb Everest, which towers above everything, but the Blue Mountains, and every time we think we have got to the top, there is yet another ridge to climb. For me the key is faith, knowing that even though I can only see one step at a time, God has the whole journey mapped out and he will bring me to the mountain top in his good time.
Chaplain Ian S Whitley